Sudbury lakes centre developing educational video – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 25, 2015)

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Sudbury’s Vale Living with Lakes Centre is developing an educational and promotional video designed to share the story of the city’s regreening success.

The story of Sudbury’s regreening, following decades of mining, has long been a shining example of environmental recovery. Now, the Vale Living with Lakes Centre is taking that message into the digital realm with a training and promotional video that will debut next fall.

An initiative led by research scientist Nadia Mykytczuk, the video features a series of vignettes that tell the Sudbury story from the start of the mining era, through the early days of the regreening efforts, and up to today’s advanced science research, and how all of it has helped researchers, miners and the greater community learn from the past.

Mykytczuk noted that the last compendium of the Sudbury story was the Green Book, which was compiled in 1995. But that format is now outdated, and many scientific gains have been made since then, requiring a new way for scientists to inform and engage their audience.

“We’re losing, to age and retirement, a lot of pioneers that were part of this story,” said Mykytczuk, an environmental biologist and adjunct professor at Laurentian. “Now, it’s really critical to capture that and look at how far Sudbury’s come in those four decades, but also highlight those key areas that we’re still working on.”

Despite the work that’s taken place to date, there’s much more research to be done, she said, and it has many lessons for other mining communities.

A series of learning modules is being developed alongside the video, which will be made available for use online by students around the globe. They’ll also be able to upload their data into an online, interactive database, providing comparative and international data for students, year over year, effectively making it a kind of “living repository” of data from other mining sites around the world.
The video can also be broken up into individual vignettes and adapted to different audiences, such as mining companies or community groups.

“When we took this on, we wanted to have pieces that could be pulled together for different target audiences,” Mykytczuk said. “So even though the course is designed at a fourth-year university level, we’ve done the video vignettes in a way that we can take them and they would still be accessible to the public.”

The information gleaned from the Sudbury experience is particularly important when considering new development, such as in the Ring of Fire, so that responsible mining becomes a priority rather than an afterthought, she said.

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